A story from the “reality vs rhetoric” file. So much for Obama’s pledge to withdraw American forces from Iraq:
The U.S. Embassy in Baghdad is planning to double its ranks as it takes over a host of missions for the military there, according to America’s No. 2 diplomat in Iraq.
“If Congress gives us the money we are asking for, this embassy is going to be twice the size it is now. It’s not going down, it’s getting bigger,” said Robert Ford, the deputy chief of mission in Baghdad, in an exclusive interview with The Cable.
As the military continues to drawdown in Iraq, the U.S. Embassy there is taking over many of the “critical missions” that the military has been heavily involved in for years, and fundamental changes in the American role in Iraq are coming. Moreover, the State Department has a very different approach to various issues than many in the military who have served there — leading to some concerns about the handoff among senior military leaders.